False accusations undermine the faith people put in the criminal justice system. Over 271 people nationwide have had their convictions overturned since 1992. For some perspective, according to the U.S. Census, 11.1 million crimes were reported in 2008. The chance of having a false assault charge dismissed depends largely on the abilities of your attorney because DNA evidence is rarely available or even tested in these cases. Assault charges are largely proved through eyewitness testimony, and a knowledgeable attorney will know how to cross examine the accuser.
Get a competent defense attorney, whether you hire one or receive a court-appointed attorney. Look for a lawyer who is "Board Certified" or has passed some kind of legal specialization in criminal law.
Tell your defense attorney the entire truth and not just what you think may be relevant to the case. Seemingly unrelated details, such as the weather conditions, may be important in corroborating your story. Your defense attorney is bound by attorney-client privilege not to disclose these details.
Handle all matters through your defense attorney. If you were charged with assault, you may have a restraining order against you, so keep away from the victim even though you believe the charges are false.
Send alibi witnesses to the police department to provide statements in your case. Sometimes this information will rule you out as a suspect and will cause the district attorney to dismiss the case against you.
Familiarize yourself with the courtroom that your case may be tried in. Observe criminal trials, preferably those involving assaults, so that you can see how a real case is tried versus depictions in television.
- Attempting to get the case dismissed without a defense attorney is not impossible, but it is very risky because you may say something incriminating.
- If you are truly innocent, do not plead guilty, as the plea bargain may include several waivers that prevent you from challenging it later in your life. If you are a peaceful person charged with assault, find people who can testify to your good character. Also remember the burden of proof is on the prosecutor to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that is a high burden.
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